Local, state police join to make Route 47 safer

By on September 17, 2010

by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—Officers from the Kane County Sheriff, Sugar Grove, Waubonsee Community College and Illinois State Police departments are working together on a two-and-a-half-week joint traffic enforcement that started Sept. 7 along the Route 47 corridor from Main Street in Sugar Grove to Blackberry Township.

The joint traffic detail, which will remain active until Sept. 24, is a response to the several serious and fatal automobile accidents that have occurred on Route 47, including an April 14, 2010, collision near Waubonsee Community College (WCC) that claimed the lives of two North Aurora teenagers.

“All the (local) agencies came together to discuss possible solutions to the traffic flow in front of the college, and this is part of an education (and) enforcement initiative to raise public awareness (along the corridor),” Kane County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Pat Gengler said. “There have been several serious crashes on Route 47, and we hope people will become more aware.”

To step up enforcement along the local Route 47 corridor, officers from the four agencies are working that stretch of road at the same time and are able to communicate on several different radio frequencies.

The Sheriff’s Department is dedicating at least one deputy per shift to the concentrated enforcement effort, Gengler said.

The law enforcement agencies timed the joint traffic detail to coincide with the start of WCC’s fall semester, when traffic in the area increases. Gengler hopes the joint traffic detail will promote safe driving along the corridor and educate local drivers of just how dangerous Route 47 can be.

“Route 47 looks like a country road in most places but has a high volume of traffic, and does allow for an increase in speed, along with a (fluctuation) from two to four lanes or four to two lanes,” he said.